Outsourcing has typically been thought of as a solution for large companies that can afford to hire outside agencies to
take over specific parts of running the business – accounting, legal, marketing, customer support, etc.
But the advent of technology has made it possible for very small companies (even those without employees) to find outside agencies to which they can outsource tasks.
We know that small companies can outsource – there are millions of third party providers and freelancers available to take on any task a small company would like to delegate. The question many want answered is: Should small companies consider outsourcing?
Is outsourcing work worthwhile for a small company with a limited budget? What are the main benefits of outsourcing – and what areas are best to outsource?
Should Small Companies Consider Outsourcing?
Before we talk about why small companies should consider outsourcing, let’s talk about why most small companies shy away from outsourcing today.
There are two common reasons small business owners give when asked why they choose not to outsource:
- Too time-consuming
- Too expensive
Truthfully, outsourcing can be both time-consuming and expensive – when done through the wrong provider.
Can outsourcing be time-consuming?
Outsourcing is only time-consuming when done through the wrong provider. If you’re worried about wasting time looking for the right provider or micromanaging the company you choose to outsource to, try this. If you can, invest just one week to research providers and find the best price and service for your money. The process of outsourcing beyond finding the right provider should not be time-consuming.
Instead, it should save you considerable amounts of time once you begin, depending on the task(s) you choose to outsource. For example, our clients report saving around 2 hours each business day when using our virtual receptionist service.
Can outsourcing be expensive?
Absolutely, outsourcing can be expensive in some cases. There are a myriad of outsourcing options available, and they range from very poor to excellent. The prices will reflect the standard of quality you can expect to receive. Most small businesses aren’t looking for the absolute best when outsourcing work – they just want reliable, consistent quality.
While hiring the best marketing freelancer to write your blog posts would be very expensive, you can more easily afford to hire a mid-level freelancer who writes well but charges half the rate. Following this example, you can see that outsourcing, if done properly and researched well, doesn’t have to be expensive.
Outsourcing lends a competitive edge
Jonathan Ebinger, Forbes writer, notes that small businesses should outsource not because of cost savings, but because of something far more valuable: “Because it is not about cost savings, it’s about our old friend, “competitive advantage.”
Think about the competitive edge a small company gains when it can outsource shipping, warehousing, customer service and support, inventory procurement, accounting, legal, marketing, and more. By outsourcing just one or a few of these tasks, a small company can deliver a better customer experience, driving revenue increases and earning more loyal customers.
So – should small companies outsource? If they’ve done their homework and know which tasks they’d like to outsource, have a budget defined, and have compared options, then the answer is “Absolutely.”